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Sick RI red hen- listless, poopy butt but vent not blocked, no blood in poop

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I did some reading on here about coccidiosis  and I don't think that's what she has based on the lack of blood in the stool, but you tell me.  She slept in the floor level nesting box last night and when I went to let them free range this evening just hung inside the coop then went back to the box.  There's no blood in the poop on her butt or in what I've seen her do, but it is very liquidy.  Her vent is not blocked.


This is a weird observation but her iris seems more red colored whereas the other hens and the rooster are all yellow.  Her eyes are clear they don't seem cloudy or red elsewhere in the eye.


I've also discovered in the past week that I have what I think are mites in the nesting boxes.  Tiny fast moving brown things that end up on my hands and forearms when I reach in there.  They hide under sleeve edges and whatnot.  When I cleaned out the coop today I dusted the boxes with dry dirt and wood ash.


I also dusted the hen with dry dirt and moved her into a dog crate in the house for the night, although when I reached in the crate to move her again so she could see the water I got the little buggers on me again, so I don't know.  I hope they don't get anywhere else in the house I just had to make a decision with dusk coming on.  Just put a little sugar water in there with her.  She just seems to want to rest with her head in the corner.


I had another RI red die a few months back in the fall.  Can't remember its behavior beforehand, just found it dead in the pen one day and disposed of it.  That was the first chicken I've had die in 3 years and I've never had a problem with a sick bird before or since.


Sorry for the rambling but I'm not really sure if the bugs are connected or not with no other birds being sick.  Just looking for any ideas.  Thanks.

post #2 of 9

Can you post a picture of her and the eyes?

Is she eating and drinking?

Have they been wormed?

Dirt and ash are good for dust bathing (preventative), but if you have an infestation a dusting of poultry dust or other treatment is most likely in order.


Here's some treatment information on mites/lice.


Worming information.

Valbazen  1/2 ml orally and then repeated in 10 days for each chicken or Fenbendazole (Safeguard, Panacur) at 1/4 ml per pound for 5 days in a row. Note there is a egg throw away period when you worm your chickens.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply Wyorp Rock, but she died a little while ago.  I got mite/tick/lice spray at the feed store on the way home from work and cleaned out the whole coop and sprayed it all and sprayed her.  There were thousands of mites all over the dog crate.  Sprayed that down, got her to drink some water with an anemia supplement in it.  She seemed a little better.  Meanwhile chased down the other 5 hens and the rooster (that was a circus) and sprayed them all upside down too.  Two other hens infected, not nearly as bad.  Checked on the sick red again.  Hope she didn't give herself a heart attack when she started flapping again when I turned her over.  She still had some moving pretty good around the vent, so I was putting her in a different tote for the night and carried it in the house and when I set her down and opened it she was on her way out.  Learning experience I guess.

post #4 of 9

I'm sorry for your loss.


I'm glad you were able to treat the rest of your flock, those little pests can be a real headache to get rid of.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks but I'm not sure I'm through yet.  When I went to get the eggs today I checked the nesting boxes and my hands after reaching in there and didn't see anything.  Before I could immediately see several of them on there after reaching in.  But after getting inside the house I found at least four fast movers on my hands and arms over the course of an hour or two.


Most things I read say those mites are not transferable to humans, and I had a family member check my head and all, but its a terrible feeling.  If I'd have known how bad she was I wouldn't have brought her into that storage area in the house.  It's probably ok, but for peace of mind I think I'm gonna set off a bug bomb in that storage area.  I might do the same in the coop and keep them locked out for the two or three hours the stuff takes to work and ventilate the area.  I didn't want to get into chemicals or even DE if I didn't have to but this is crazy I just want those darn things gone.  And catching those other hens and the rooster to spray them down was a circus and a half so I don't wanna do that again if I can avoid it either.

post #6 of 9

Most poultry lice/mites can get on humans, but won't stay for long, they want to be back on the poultry:)

Yes, I'm sure it's an uncomfortable feeling.

Hope you are able to get rid of them.

I'm not sure about bug bombing the coop, you may want to research the ingredients before you use it.

Look at your local feed store and see if they have any products made to use around poultry.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've got more of the natural non-chemical stuff from the feed store today and I also got some DE this time.  I know some people say it could affect their respiratory systems, but right now its the mites that killed the other one so I'll chance it.  The bug bomb says as long as the stuff itself doesn't contact humans or pets and the area is thoroughly ventilated after a couple hours its ok then.  I'll only use that as a last resort so not yet but I know that will penetrate crevices in the coop where I can't spray.


Thanks again for the help.


P.S.  This whole thing has me re-evaluating my setup.  If I moved to a dripper watering system to avoid problems with the open waterer, do you think there would be a problem putting a "sandbox" of dry dirt maybe with a little DE in it inside the coop? At least for the winter so if they're staying in they can still dust bathe regularly?

post #8 of 9

Sure can put a dust bath in the coop!

Great way to let them bathe when it's cold and snowy and no dry dirt to be found.

We all have to re-evaluate our set-up now and again. I'm always looking at mine...


Here's what Terri Golson of the HenCam does:

Edited by Wyorp Rock - 4/8/16 at 1:38pm
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Awesome! Thanks.

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